Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Picks Trying Not to Suck: Week 4


So far, not sucking for the Homerism brothers.

WEEK FOUR--The Skinny
(Last Week: 5-1; Overall: 12-4-2)

No time to waste.


LSU (-5.5) at West Virginia

LSU will win this game in easy fashion. WVU is 107th nationally in rushing offense this season against the likes of Maryland, Norfolk State and Marshall. The stat isn't as bad as it appears when you account for Holgerson's pass-heavy offense, but the LSU defense is simply too good for a one-dimensional offense.

Dana Holgerson's mug shot is the only thing scarier than the LSU defense this season. On second thought, the only thing scarier than Holgerson's mug shot is the thought of WVU and any of the other Big East misfits joining the Big 12. The WVU faithful will be nice and tuned up for this primetime kick, and the Mountaineers might keep it close in the first half.

Skinny says: In the end, any line under a TD for LSU is too good to pass up.

UTEP at USF (-29.5)

I tend to stay away from lines this big, but they seem to be paying off this season.

USF is rolling under Skip Holtz's offensive system. The Bulls upset win over ND two weeks ago was no fluke. This is a top 25 team.

The Miners are a deceptive 2-1 so far this season, with narrow victories over Stony Brook and New Mexico State. I have no idea if there is any statistical basis for this, but I always feel more comfortable picking a spread this big in a late afternoon or evening kickoff. This game kicks at 7:00pm EST.

The Skin says: I like USF.

Lee Greenwood Special: Army (-4) at Ball State

Navy is off and there is no line on the Air Force game, so that leaves this gem for this week's LGS. Army pulled off the upset last week against Northwestern, but the Black Knights won't be playing in the friendly confines of Michie Stadium. I'll be honest. I have no clue who to pick in this game, so I'll go with the home dog.

The Skinny says: Ball State.

Notre Dame (-6.5) at Pitt

I know! I am playing with fire here.

The Irish are notoriously difficult to handicap, which seems especially true this season. I think last week's victory over MSU might have been just what the doctor ordered for ND to roll off a couple wins through a favorable portion of their schedule.

If, and this is a major IF, the Irish can hold onto the football, they win this game easily. Playing in Heinz Field this weekend will be more like a neutral site for the Irish.

The Skin says: I like ND as long as the line stays under a touchdown.

Kansas State at Miami, FL (-12.5)

I wonder what the KSU athletic administration had to give Bill Snyder to schedule this matchup? K-State playing on the road, against a traditional power no less, in the month of September? That simply doesn't happen!

I do like the way this one sets up for Bill Snyder and the Wildcats. After a shaky Week 1 victory over Eastern Kentucky followed by a week off and a 37-0 dismantling of Kent State, Snyder's club is in a good position. Very few coaches can circle the wagons for a big contest like Bill Snyder. I also,think this is a good spot to sell Miami after a big win against a hapless Ohio State team.

Skin says: I'll take my chances on Snyder getting the points.

Western Mich. at Illinois (-12.5)

Has Illinois ever played well after a victory under Ron Zook? It seems like Zook does just well enough to keep his job yet never seems to be building anything at Illinois. It is the same thing every year for the Illini, 7-5, a couple nice wins, a couple bad losses and a trip to the Sun Bowl.

I am counting on Zook and the Illini to return to form after last week's 17-14 victory over ASU. Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase is probable for Saturday's game. Scheelhaase's status definitely adds an element of risk to this pick, but I'll take my chances.

The Skinny says: Illini.

WEEK FOUR--Blatant Homerism
(Last Week: 5-1; Overall: 11-6-1)

Man, I put together a helluva week like that, and I still don't make up any ground on The Skinny. Can someone explain when the world decided to turn against me?

Missouri at Oklahoma (-19.5)

OK, I realize this is bad juju. In this case, however, it's tough to ignore a trend: The Sooners are 5-1 in revenge games in Norman under Bob Stoops.

Until proven otherwise.

BH says: The back door could swing open here, but I still like the Sooners big.

Central Michigan (+21.5) at Michigan State

Do I love the Chippewas here? Hardly. This is their third straight roadie, so fatigue definitely comes into play.

However, I think this makes for a good go-against play on Sparty. Last week MSU had Notre Dame. Next week its Ohio State.

Oh, I also don't think MSU is all that good.

BH says: Spartans by 20.

Kansas State (+12.5) at Miami, FL

Count me in with The Skinny on this one. Bill Snyder may hate these kinds of games, but I love him in them.

As for The U, the Hurricanes put on a good show last week against an inept Ohio State squad. However, this game screams letdown for Miami. Look for KSU to take away Lamar Miller and put the game on Jacory Harris, who apparently has no interest in not throwing interceptions.

BH says: Miami 17, Kansas State 12.

Nebraska at Wyoming (+21)

Message to Tom Osborne: You're Nebraska. You don't take trips to Laramie.

Now that we've established that, I recommend fading Big Red this week. The Cornhuskers had a revenge game with Washington last week and their first Big Ten game next week at Wisconsin. Don't look for their best effort here.

BH says: NU, but not by enough.

LGS: Army at Ball State (+4)

If I told you I had a line on this week's LGS, I'd be lying. Thus, I'll take the points.

BH says: Ball me, baby.

San Diego State at Michigan (-10)

Listen, I know that this qualifies as a "square" play. Michigan is a public team that appears vastly overrated at the moment. SDSU, on the other hand, is a sneaky good mid-major.

I like the Wolverines here for the simple reason that the Aztecs are traveling to Ann Arbor for what amounts to a 9 a.m. kickoff. Also, seeing as Michigan coach Brady Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges know the SDSU personnel pretty well, I think they have a strategic edge.

BH says: Michigan covers on a late touchdown, 38-24.